Reaching new heights
in the Midlands
Car manufacturing, including the
famous London black cab, and the
invention of the bicycle, Coventry
is famous for many things, but
until recently high-rise buildings was not
one of them.
That perception may be about to change,
as a new landmark 23-storey student
accommodation scheme has claimed the
accolade for Coventry’s tallest building,
excluding the nearby cathedral spire.
Towering over the city centre, the
Fairfax Street scheme for specialist student
accommodation developer CODE Students
will deliver 1,192 self-contained studios.
All will feature a fully-equipped kitchen,
deluxe shower room, a double bed, 200mb
broadband and a secure CCTV and fob
The scheme consists of four interlinked
steel-framed blocks, ranging in height
from the eight-storey Block C to the
tallest element, the 23-storey high Block
B. Meanwhile, Block A has 14-storeys and
Block D tops out at 21-storeys, technically
making it Coventry’s second tallest tower.
“This is the highest project main
contractor Winvic has ever built,” explains
Project Manager Martin Overfield. “The
company is well-known for constructing
distribution centres, but we are now
diversifying and recently completed a
similar job for the client in Leicester,
although that was low-rise compared to this
scheme as it only had eight-storeys.”
Winvic started work on site during
October 2017, and began by installing
piled foundations in readiness for the steel
erection to begin. The plot had previously
been used as a surface car park and the
client had already remediated the site before
The choice of a steel-framed solution
for the scheme was made solely for the
material’s speed of construction.
“Getting the accommodation completed
as quickly and efficiently as possible was
upmost in our initial discussions with the
client,” says Mr Overfield. “Consequently,
we went for a steel frame construction with
metal decking as it is the fastest method.”
This design decision has proven to be
the correct one as after only 11 months on
site 315 bedrooms were already completed.
Block A and a portion of the adjacent Block
B were handed-over in September, just in
time for the new University term.
By the following month (October),
steelwork contractor Caunton Engineering
had competed the majority of its
programme, having erected Blocks A, B and
D, and then completing Block C.
“For logistical reasons Block C was
erected last as it’s situated in the middle of
the scheme on what was our delivery area,”
explains Caunton Engineering Deputy
Topping out at 23-storeys high, a student
accommodation project will be Coventry’s
tallest building. Martin Cooper reports.
Steel has provided
the required speed of